I believe that children are our future. Which is great because they are basically everywhere. Everywhere you look, kids are kiddin’ around, just kiddin’ up the joint. Kids are amazing. They’re fun and hilarious and haven’t yet started writing political essays on Facebook. In many ways, kids are the best. But here is one way in which kids are the worst: When they are characters on TV shows. Sorry, but facts are facts.
Unless a TV show is about childhood, none of us truly need to see a child talking with a grownup about anything. For one thing, TV dramas love to put children in peril — which, as savvy TV watchers, we know is the emptiest of empty threats. The hero’s child is not going to die, and how dare you make me think that’s even a possibility. Even worse, I truly do not ever need to see another grown adult take a knee and speak condescendingly to a moppet with an impractical haircut. That scenario is not doing anybody any favors. It would be one thing if adult TV writers knew how to write child characters (i.e. children who do not knowingly comment on their parents’ love lives), but 100 percent of them don’t. Knock it off, people trying to make child characters interesting. That goes doubly for you, Containment.
Aside from there being about four child characters too many, this week’s episode of Containment was actually quite gripping and good. “A Kingdom Divided Against Itself” was the week we finally got that long-promised street riot (as depicted in the pilot’s flash-forward). And though it ended nearly as quickly as it began, the sheer terror and chaos of it all provided a quick surge of adrenaline to a show that really should be doling it out more regularly. Plus, in a genuinely affecting turn of events, Katie went and exposed herself to the virus! And only hours after she won over our hearts with a gorgeous guitar ballad. Life just isn’t fair sometimes.
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Listen, riots are complicated by nature. Everyone’s running around screaming, throwing things, looting, and behaving like angry, scared jerks. But in “A Kingdom Divided Against Itself,” the episode’s central riot created additional complications for our beloved characters — first and foremost for Teresa and Xander, who believed they’d spotted her mom walking among the protesters. But only minutes later, Xander had been touched by an infected man, and Teresa had been pushed to the ground and couldn’t get up. Hero that he is, Xander was about 10 seconds away from dragging Teresa across the cordon on a dumpster lid, but a hatchet-wielding Jana intercepted them on her way to find Suzy a pregnancy test. Because yep, Suzy was pregnant and her hormones made her want to join the riot for some reason. Stay in your office park, Suzy!
Next: It gets worse
Mere inches away but inhabiting their own world, Lex and Dr. Sabine waited out their 48-hour observation period inside a storage container. Though they were effectively cut off from the episode’s action, these close quarters afforded them the chance to finally bury their grudges and get on the same page about this virus sitch. Lex was still pretty steamed at Dr. Sabine for not being fully honest about the outbreak (as well as her methods for quashing it); Dr. Sabine was clearly reluctant to trust a guy who speaks three times slower than she does. But if Lex had any distrust for her motives going into that container, he was now convinced of her priorities: She really did want to end this outbreak, even if it required a total lack of compassion. She recounted the time her mentor suddenly became infected after attempting to comfort a dying man without realizing his glove was torn. In entertainment, we’re trained to despise the compassionless, but I think we can all agree real life needs more calculated pragmatists like this lady.
Except for a man who was shot in the head by the National Guard, Katie fared the worst of anyone in the riot. She and Jake headed into the scrum to retrieve a couple of girls who had been removed from the hospital by some random idiot. Jake discovered one of the girls was possibly infected, but Katie didn’t know this when she later attempted to rescue the bleeding and dying girl from a crashed car. Their bodily fluids couldn’t have intermingled more, so the look on Katie’s face when Jake informed her she had been exposed was something like extreme anguish meets facepalm. And while Katie immediately took a frantic, cold, clothed shower, Jake’s sobs as he waited around the corner didn’t do much to make us optimistic. They had only just had their first proper date! Still, one thing to keep in mind is that Katie is the female lead. So yeah. Maybe we shouldn’t stress too much.
Outside the cordon, the conspiracy subplot continued onward as Leo dug deeper into the security footage of Patient Zero. In order to connect the original infected guy with Dr. Cannerts, he needed to obtain confidential phone records, so thank goodness he had an old friend in the NSA! Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to directly connect the two parties, only trace Patient Zero’s outgoing calls to somewhere in Nantucket. Because the urgency of the virus seems way more important than its origins, it’s hard to get too roused by this plotline, but fingers crossed it’s going somewhere interesting. Does the President himself summer in Nantucket? Fingers crossed.
Order among chaos was the overall theme of “A Kingdom Divided Against Itself,” and judging by how things went, Chaos won. Perhaps it was intentional the riot itself was so confusing and senseless — not even the National Guard seemed to know what they were doing inside the walls or why they were opening fire on citizens — but I’ll take confusing chaos over boring any day. And now that the episodes have finally caught up to the flash-forward, there’s an added excitement about where the story goes from here. Though we know Containment probably won’t be back for another season, there’s still a chance this one will end in a memorably satisfying way, so let’s hope it starts going for broke. And one more thing: Please, no more kids.
Containment airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.